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Mont Royale

2008 US Election

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So much has happened/is happening in the U.S. election campaign, but we have no 'official' thread to talk about it. I guess this one will do. (Sorry your provoking comments went ignored earlier, zumpano!)

As an interested observer, I'd like to hear the opinions of other members on the candidates, especially those in the U.S. (but not only them). So, to get things rolling:

Fanpuck - what do you think of your party's choice of Palin. Seems to me a cynical ploy for votes from disenchanted Clinton supporters. What do you think of McCain, for that matter (I ask because apparently he isn't a favourite of conservative Republicans)?

simonus - how do you feel about Obama's leadership so far? Apparently he has only a slight lead in the polls, despite widespread disapproval of the Bush White House - what do you attribute that to?

Everybody else - join in on these and any other topics you want to bring up. If a certain member was still around, we'd have this thread up to 10 pages by now - most of it nonsense, but at least it would be entertaining reading...

^_^

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Fanpuck - what do you think of your party's choice of Palin. Seems to me a cynical ploy for votes from disenchanted Clinton supporters. What do you think of McCain, for that matter (I ask because apparently he isn't a favourite of conservative Republicans)?

Like most other people, I still don't know a lot about Palin. I think she was a good choice for the very reason you gave, to try tog rab up the women's vote. On the other hand, I think she was a bad choice because of her lack of experience. One of the things the Republicans can really blast Obama on is his experience, but now they can blast right back on Palin. Overall, I'd say anyone who likes hockey is a good choice, haha. MILF '08!

As for McCain, he was my choice all along, for the very reason that he's not a typical Republican. I would say I am pretty conservative, but I think more important than politics right now is unity. I love the fact that he doesn't always tow the party line. It shows me that he actually thinks for himself and is willing to work with the other side. I really believe the only way to get things moving in the right direction in this country is to attack problems together. Instead of Democrats vs. Republicans, it needs to be Americans vs. Problems. I think McCain is a candidate with a chance of doing that, at least to some degree. Just this week he showed that the country is more important than his campaign, when he flew back to Washington to work on the economic bailout bill.

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Like most other people, I still don't know a lot about Palin. I think she was a good choice for the very reason you gave, to try tog rab up the women's vote. On the other hand, I think she was a bad choice because of her lack of experience. One of the things the Republicans can really blast Obama on is his experience, but now they can blast right back on Palin. Overall, I'd say anyone who likes hockey is a good choice, haha. MILF '08!

As for McCain, he was my choice all along, for the very reason that he's not a typical Republican. I would say I am pretty conservative , but I think more important than politics right now is unity. I love the fact that he doesn't always tow the party line. It shows me that he actually thinks for himself and is willing to work with the other side. I really believe the only way to get things moving in the right direction in this country is to attack problems together. Instead of Democrats vs. Republicans, it needs to be Americans vs. Problems. I think McCain is a candidate with a chance of doing that, at least to some degree. Just this week he showed that the country is more important than his campaign, when he flew back to Washington to work on the economic bailout bill.

:o

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simonus - how do you feel about Obama's leadership so far? Apparently he has only a slight lead in the polls, despite widespread disapproval of the Bush White House - what do you attribute that to?

well, I'm not much for talking about politics on the board... but since I was directly asked:

I think leadership is such an intangible quality that I am loathe to apply it. I think he has run a very good campaign and has deftly led a large movement. Although some of his slogans are vague to the point of meaningless (like "change"), he has generally enunciated good policy ideas and has clearly delineated his alternative approach. I am no fan of "clean coal" and I am (as always) disappointed by his inability to make a stand on gay rights (although I think that reflects more on the American people's constitution than his own... it is not fair of me to want him to commit political suicide), I agree with him often enough to be happy with him on the issues.

I like his intellectuality and calm demeanor, both of which McCain lacks and both of which are all too often seen as liabilities in American politics. I like that he has generally avoided stunts and gags in his campaign.

When the primaries began, I had split loyalties between Obama and Biden, so his choice on VP made me very happy. I've always liked Biden and I actually volunteered for Obama when he was running for senate.

I disagree with your assessment of the polling. As of right now Obama has a very commanding lead in the polls at the national level and a strong lead in the electoral college (per state-by-state polling).

I also see little evidence that Palin has had any lasting impact in drawing disaffected female Clinton voters. Palin's greatest strength has been her ability to energize the base, not to bring in "independents."

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well, I'm not much for talking about politics on the board... but since I was directly asked:

Yeah, I suppose it wasn't the best approach to call people out, but I didn't want the thread to die a quick death. Thanks to both you and Fanpuck for giving your well thought-out responses. Hopefully we'll get some other perspectives to keep things going.

As far as the polls go, I read that Obama has just under a 6 point lead. I may be wrong, but that doesn't sound very commanding in a 2 party race and the election still a month away. I understand that Obama has the momentum though.

As for McCain, he was my choice all along, for the very reason that he's not a typical Republican. I would say I am pretty conservative, but I think more important than politics right now is unity. I love the fact that he doesn't always tow the party line. It shows me that he actually thinks for himself and is willing to work with the other side. I really believe the only way to get things moving in the right direction in this country is to attack problems together. Instead of Democrats vs. Republicans, it needs to be Americans vs. Problems. I think McCain is a candidate with a chance of doing that, at least to some degree. Just this week he showed that the country is more important than his campaign, when he flew back to Washington to work on the economic bailout bill.

Do you really think McCain has a better chance of uniting Americans than Obama? My outsider's perspective is that he might be too tied to the Bush administration, which has divided the country and reduced its influence abroad.

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Yeah, I suppose it wasn't the best approach to call people out, but I didn't want the thread to die a quick death. Thanks to both you and Fanpuck for giving your well thought-out responses. Hopefully we'll get some other perspectives to keep things going.

As far as the polls go, I read that Obama has just under a 6 point lead. I may be wrong, but that doesn't sound very commanding in a 2 party race and the election still a month away. I understand that Obama has the momentum though.

Depending on the poll, it is about 5 to 9 points. A 6 point lead is actually quite good. It is no historic landslide level (in the US, about 10% or more), but in today's hgih party ID environment, getting a 6 point lead is pretty hard. It probably means you are starting to win votes from people with the opposing party ID.

You have to look at the electoral votes, though. Campaigns try to get popular vote leads, but the real work is done at the state level. There is no reason for McCain to try to convince single voter in California or New York to vote for him - the margin of loss in those states is so large that there is no way for him to win. Similarly, Obama has no reason to try to draw voters in Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, or Kansas. Now Obama has expanded the field this election, moving into Republican territory like North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana, and McCain has made some attempts at Wisconsin and Michigan (both basically abandoned now), but as a general rule candidates will give up possible popular votes in loss states in order to work on extracting votes from close states.

You need 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. Real Clear Politics, a right-leaning poll aggregator site has Obama with a strong hold on 260 electoral votes, Mccain with a strong hold on 163. Pollster.com says 250 - 163. If the election were to happen today, RCP thinks Obama would win 353-185. FiveThirtyEight.com, a more scientific poll aggregator (run by a democrat who actually explains his methodology) predicts that on Election day Obama will win (based on simulations) an average of 331.2 - 206.8.

This is the lead about which I speak.

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Do you really think McCain has a better chance of uniting Americans than Obama? My outsider's perspective is that he might be too tied to the Bush administration, which has divided the country and reduced its influence abroad.

Absolutely I do, because Obama is more liberal than McCain is conservative. Obama's campaign boils down to the fact that he will be the anti-Bush and fight against conservative policy. That just doesn't scream togetherness to me. He strikes me as too ideological to really bring the two sides together. I think the only reason McCain hasn't tried to distance himself too much from Bush is because he doesn't want to risk further driving away the far right.

I think the whole economic bailout bill is a perfect example of my point. McCain was willing to postpone the debate and take time off from the campaign trail to return to Washington to try and work out a resolution. Obama refused. That told me exactly where their priorities are. Obama on himself getting elected and McCain on the country.

Concerning the numbers Simonus was just talking about, I think it would be interesting to see what those numbers would have been like had we been coming off the Clinton or Bush Sr. adminstrations, as opposed to the current administration. Personally, I think the candidates don't make a difference in this election.

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I think Palin may appear to be a good choice by McCain until people realize just how close she would be from becoming the President if the Republicans were elected. At the age of 72 there is a pretty good chance that McCain could either resign (or pass away, we never know) before the end of his mandate, which would make Palin the President.

Palin has no diplomatic experience, she practically never left the country (once to visit soldiers in Iraq), she's evasive and almost inknowledgeable about many important issues, and from what I heard she did poorly during the debate last night (the host was even asked to avoid certain subjects, and to avoid contradicting her). Not only that, but this is someone who admitted not believing in climate change or evolution!

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(the host was even asked to avoid certain subjects, and to avoid contradicting her).

That was because of the moderator, not because of Palin. Gwen Ifill is writing a pro-Obama book, so if she were to contradict Palin or ask questions on certain issues, it would look as if she were attacking Palin and would thus be seen as not being an objective moderator. Pretty dumb choice for moderator if you ask me.

from what I heard she did poorly during the debate last night

I've heard quite the opposite. It was a foregone conclusion that Biden would have the better debate, as many believe his debate skills were a top reason he was chosen to be Obama's VP. The consensus I've been seeing and hearing agrees that Biden "won" the debate, but that Palin at the very least held her own and didn't hurt the ticket.

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That was because of the moderator, not because of Palin. Gwen Ifill is writing a pro-Obama book, so if she were to contradict Palin or ask questions on certain issues, it would look as if she were attacking Palin and would thus be seen as not being an objective moderator. Pretty dumb choice for moderator if you ask me.

that's not exactly true. Ifill is writing a book about black American politicians, which contains a section on Obama. She was picked as part of negotiations between the two parties. It's not like these people are foisted upon the candidates.

I think the whole economic bailout bill is a perfect example of my point. McCain was willing to postpone the debate and take time off from the campaign trail to return to Washington to try and work out a resolution. Obama refused. That told me exactly where their priorities are. Obama on himself getting elected and McCain on the country.

jeez, it's amazing how differently we can interpret the same event. IMO, McCain "suspended" his campaign in order to help his candidacy. It was an empty stunt... I mean the guy "suspended" his campaign about a day before he actually went to washington and before he made a major speech and gave a broadcast TV interview in NYC.

He didn't pull commercials, didn't tell his surrogates to stop campaiging and has spent every day since the announcement talking about how great his sacrifice was.

He left for the debate without having the deal made and never came back to continue working on the deal. Also, he was on none of the committees involved in authoring the bill, nor was he involved in the negotiations (he sat in one negotiation, where Obama was present, and to all reports said nothing). He has been completely contradictory on whether he supports the bill. He said that he would deliver the house republicans, over whom he has little sway, and who overwhelmingly voted against the bill.

I think it was another hail mary shot at making himself relevant and I don't think it worked. Perhaps our biases manifest themselves in the way we interpret this gambit.

Concerning the numbers Simonus was just talking about, I think it would be interesting to see what those numbers would have been like had we been coming off the Clinton or Bush Sr. adminstrations, as opposed to the current administration. Personally, I think the candidates don't make a difference in this election.

I think the candidates make a difference in that McCain is probably doing better than any of the other republican candidates would have done. This is primarily because he is generally viewed as being an un-republican (although I think he's pretty orthodox, just not a religious neo-con). Obama has made a difference insofar that he is far better organized than any democratic candidate since Bill Clinton. Obama's success is predicated more on better GOTV and fundraising ability than on his message (which I'd argue at half bad either).

You are absolutely right that Bush the Younger has polarized the voting populace in such a way as to make the actual candidates somewhat less important. Originally this heavily benefitted the republicans, but is now working in favour of the democrats.

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that's not exactly true. Ifill is writing a book about black American politicians, which contains a section on Obama. She was picked as part of negotiations between the two parties. It's not like these people are foisted upon the candidates.

Come on, it pretty clear where she stands on Obama. "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama" is the full title of the book. It's obviously banking on Obama winning the election. I mean, it goes on sale on freaking inauguration day!

I didn't say that they were just thrust upon the candidates, I'm just saying that she had to be careful.

Ignoring whether or not McCain did anything for the bailout bill, it does bring up a topic that I feel pretty strongly about. When people run for president, I think they should have to give up their current post. Pretty much everyone who runs for the presidency is currently holding some sort of office, whether it be as senator, governor, etc. These people are being paid to perform those jobs, but for the most part completely ignore those jobs for at least a year to run for president. I've just always found that to be ridiculous.

As for McCain not really suspending his campaign, there wasn't really a whole lot to do at the time. The bill was in the House when he got back, then he had to do the debate. I don't really see the point of stopping ads as part of the suspension. They're already paid for and arranged, they weren't hurting his ability to take time off from the campaign. That being said, giving two public appearances was, indeed, quite stupid.

That being said, I still think it was a bad move for Obama not to agree to move the debate. It was risky of him to allow McCain the chance to earn points if the bill had gone through. At the very least, he would have extinguished any idea that his candidacy is more important than the economic crisis. Failed ploy or not, for the average person not following the the candidate's every move, McCain comes off as caring more about the crisis.

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Come on, it pretty clear where she stands on Obama. "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama" is the full title of the book. It's obviously banking on Obama winning the election. I mean, it goes on sale on freaking inauguration day!

I didn't say that they were just thrust upon the candidates, I'm just saying that she had to be careful.

If I were to write a book about the rise of black politicans, I'd probably stick Obama's name in the title. I agree with the perception problems, I just wanted to help temper them for HW posters.

You're right about how she had to moderate - pretty smart pick by the McCain team ^_^ .

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Yeah, I suppose it wasn't the best approach to call people out, but I didn't want the thread to die a quick death. Thanks to both you and Fanpuck for giving your well thought-out responses. Hopefully we'll get some other perspectives to keep things going.

Indeed. It is nice to have civil political discussions on the boards again.

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I will severely miss George W's vacant stare.

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I will severely miss George W's vacant stare.

LOL...hopefully it's not to be replaced by Sarah Palin's "straight talk" and John McCain's "maverick" tendencies...lmao.

Does anyone else get the impression that Sarah Palin wakes up every morning and says, in her most incredulous voice: "how the HELL did I get nominated?"

The entire "main street" vs. "wall street" (US version) and "kitchen table" vs. "boardroom table" (Canadian version) is so much fluff it's insulting. I understand why politicians don't go into long winded academic arguments on policy but at least they could stick to the main points rather then "straight talk" and BS about "steets" and "tables"...

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LOL...hopefully it's not to be replaced by Sarah Palin's "straight talk" and John McCain's "maverick" tendencies...lmao.

Does anyone else get the impression that Sarah Palin wakes up every morning and says, in her most incredulous voice: "how the HELL did I get nominated?"

Absolutely not. In fact, I think you unintentionally enunciated what bothers me most about McCain/Palin. Moreover you enunciated what bothers me most about the Neoconservative movement that reviles McCain but which has embraced Palin.

I get the sense (especially when Palin talk about not "blinking") that neither she nor McCain has never pondered their own adequacy for a post for which almost nobody could ever be adequate. A good leader must have some doubt, must be humble as to their own abilities.

I remember the great story about Clinton that the day after he was elected, he woke up, looked over at Hillary and started laughing incredulously... "how the hell did I get elected?" Now many conservatives probably felt the same way, but I was comforted that he seemed to realize that the job was bigger than him. I don't think Bush ever had a similar moment.

The entire "main street" vs. "wall street" (US version) and "kitchen table" vs. "boardroom table" (Canadian version) is so much fluff it's insulting. I understand why politicians don't go into long winded academic arguments on policy but at least they could stick to the main points rather then "straight talk" and BS about "streets" and "tables"...

It's just another facet of our political obsession with shorthand. Here is a good article on a similar point.

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Amazing to hear Palin speak repeatedly of the 'dangerous world' when she got her first passport 18 months ago. Those buzzwords seem designed to resonate with similarly stay-at-home christian fundamentalists. The Republicans are keen to discredit intellectualism and rationalism as 'elite' and cultivate their power base on ignorance and fear. I've been in a hell of a lot more places than Palin and the most dangerous city I ever encountered was Los Angeles.

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Scene: McCain has a heart attack and dies as President. Sarah Palin takes over. Her first order of business? A bridge to Hawaii!!!

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Scene: McCain has a heart attack and dies as President. Sarah Palin takes over. Her first order of business? A bridge to Hawaii!!!

Don't forget fear and panic hitting the streets worldwide.

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Indeed. It is nice to have civil political discussions on the boards again.

I love how right after this post, everything just fell apart in this thread :P COLINNNNN!!!

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I love how right after this post, everything just fell apart in this thread :P COLINNNNN!!!

see, Trizzak, there is good change and there is bad change....

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I love how right after this post, everything just fell apart in this thread :P COLINNNNN!!!

Dude! I was civil! Mocking, but civil...

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Absolutely not. In fact, I think you unintentionally enunciated what bothers me most about McCain/Palin. Moreover you enunciated what bothers me most about the Neoconservative movement that reviles McCain but which has embraced Palin.

I get the sense (especially when Palin talk about not "blinking") that neither she nor McCain has never pondered their own adequacy for a post for which almost nobody could ever be adequate. A good leader must have some doubt, must be humble as to their own abilities.

I remember the great story about Clinton that the day after he was elected, he woke up, looked over at Hillary and started laughing incredulously... "how the hell did I get elected?" Now many conservatives probably felt the same way, but I was comforted that he seemed to realize that the job was bigger than him. I don't think Bush ever had a similar moment.

It's just another facet of our political obsession with shorthand. Here is a good article on a similar point.

It's an interesting take...I agree that you want someone who is at least humble enough to understand that it's a ultimately a position of servitude. However, I would also hope that whomever is in charge has a high confidence level. Palin just looks like she has this stunned look on her face all the time...and I'm usually wondering if she's stunned at how ineffectively she answers most questions...lol.

Seriously, I just don't understand how anyone could support McCain based on Palin's addition as his running mate. I can understand that some people want to support McCain...just not how Palin suddenly made a difference...

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The debate last night didn't seem to have any knock-out punches from what I saw, so this favours the front-runner, Obama. The dynamic between the 2 candidates was interesting, with McCain apparently trying to make up ground by repeatedly attacking Obama's voting record and policies. This somewhat drew Obama to retaliate in kind, but I could tell he was trying to stick with his strategy of ignoring the attacks and describing his policies. This must be the standard front-runner strategy, because Harper did the same thing in the Canadian debates.

IMO, the impression that each candidate left on the audience/viewers was quite different: Obama spoke eloquently (although the delivery was somewhat disjointed at times, which I've never noticed from him before) and in greater detail than one usually sees in a debate, which often is reduced to who can get the best sound bite. The conventional wisdom is that a politician should avoid talking over the level of his audience, so this may not work in his favour (i.e. he will risk being seen as elitist or an intellectual - horrors!). However, I've always thought voters were smarter than they're given credit for (although I was sorely tempted to revise this opinion after Bush's re-election ;) ). McCain did well in his strategy of attacking Obama and contrasting their policies, and used more 'straight talk' (if that's what the pundits call it). I found him rather patronizing though, constantly saying "my friends, ..." and smiling while delivering barbs to Obama.

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WOW.

Somewhere, I already knew it, but last night debates confirmed me that US politic is ­­­>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Canada's politic.

Unless you are the CEO of a tank and fight plane companie, I don't see why in the world someone would vote for McCain.

I think I would even vote for Stephane Dion over him.

The biggest joke of this debate was :

Obama : IF the Pakistan government is not able, or doesn't have the willingness to take Ben Laden out, then we would thinking about doing it ourselves and go there with military forces.

McCain : Senator Obama is clearly thinking about INVADING Pakistan !

:o:rolleyes:

edit : one of my sentences just didn't make any sense.

Edited by JoeLassister

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